Hidden Behind the Lilacs

This morning I received an email that sent me on a spiritual memorial. As I get ready to spend another day doing what I love most surrounded by the people I love most, I am looking back over the broken, and at times thorn-covered, road God has brought me on with gratitude…even pleasure. You’d think the straight, meadow-lined portions would come to mind first, but somehow over the years, my Sunday strolls have dimmed amidst the steep alpine climbs and valleys. Now, as I stand on the other side, the faint glimmers that pulled me forward emerge in full view. Glancing behind, I can see all the nasty branches, weeds, and weesels that have been purged along the way, lying among the thorns and brambles now hidden behind blooming lilac bushes. I remember the pain of the pruning sheers as they hacked away at the life sucking vines that had previously entangled my heart. At times, I felt like I would break beneath beneath them, but I didn’t. I fell, crumbling beneath the weight of my sin, only to land in the gentle arms of my father. And it was there that I was able to see His heart, to feel His strength and to understand the depths of His grace. It was in those moments, stripped to my very core, that I learned to trust.

And for now, I am reliving those moments, and the lessons learned along the way, remembering how truly gracious my heavenly Father is. Even when I couldn’t see it, even when I didn’t understand it, even when my heart screamed out in bitterness and pain, He was there. And never once did He let go.

So now I’m going to share the simple sentence, pulled from God’s Word, that sent me on my journey of remembrance:

“I am the LORD your God who brought you out of __________.” Fill in your own blank. Thanks to author Ben Erlichman for this gentle reminder this morning.

What about you? What valleys and pits has God brought you out of? What chains has He broken? Take a moment to reflect on them now. Have you found, like me, that never a tear has been wasted?

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